There’s a simple way to re-focus your time and energy to get a better start and results in a new year—or any time of year—in any area of your life. Just ask yourself the two questions offered here.

Two emails I received reminded me about the principle described below. I’d already had in mind to do a similar process, but felt nudged to really “go there” using this formula.

Maybe you’ve heard of the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 Rule. It maintains that around 20 percent of what you do each day creates 80 percent of your desired results . . . including fulfillment. So it follows that 80 percent of your time should focus on the 20 percent that creates desired results. Stated simply: Review what “grows corn” for you and what doesn’t. This applies to both business and life.

The questions are:

1. What is the 20 percent you do that creates 80 percent of desired results (including fulfillment—a key ingredient)?
2. What is the 80 percent you do that doesn’t?

This 80/20 formula applies to any area of your life. It’s a good time to revisit what these areas are.
• Personal development
• Spiritual development
• Fun and relaxation/recharge time
• Intimate and social relationships
• Health
• Financial health
• Career/Job/Profession
• Physical spaces
• Emotional well-being

You can look at each of the above in turn and apply the formula in a way appropriate for you, but here’s one activity that may bog you down in any area: Do you give 80 percent of your time and energy to talking and/or thinking about matters you’re not happy with rather than applying an effective 20 percent to taking inner or outer actions that can create desired outcomes—even if some of these affect you at the inner level only?

Here are some general questions you may consider applying the 20/80 or 80/20 Rule to.

• What’s in your living space or closets? Don’t give away any treasures, but what do you have and don’t use (and won’t) that someone would love to have or would benefit from having—or that you might even sell?
• What about what’s on your bookshelf, your desk, your sticky notes, your short- and long-term goals list?
• How do you use your money?
• How does this rule relate to nurturing your personal relationships?
• What’s your belief-in-scarcity vs. belief-in-abundance ratio?
• What does this formula reveal about your self-talk and self-appreciation?
• What does this look like regarding social sites you’re signed up on? (Are you signed up because it was “recommended”—and this creates busywork, or are these sites ones you feel enthused about building community on?)
• What else comes to mind that you might apply this rule to?

If you hesitate to part with any material thing, task, or behavior that doesn’t “grow corn for you,” ask yourself what may be stopping you. If your answer is, “I don’t know,” then I ask you: If you did know, what might it be?

Any time is a good time to tune up your life so you experience more success and fulfillment. Otherwise, it can be like nailing your shoe to the floor and turning in circles non-stop: you’re active (moving about), but going nowhere. Too much emphasis is placed on always doing something, which leaves little time to reflect. Time given to quality reflection and assessment about your 20/80 can make a real difference in your life, starting immediately.

A wonderful experience happens when you remove clutter of any kind from your life (thoughts, things, and tasks): you see real opportunities that were hidden behind and under physical, mental, and emotional clutter. You create time and space to look at what you have and what you really want . . . and to go for it.

When you tune up, it’s easier to tune in to experiences you really want to create.


You can. Just use my bio as a complete statement.

Author's Bio: 

Shift Happens. But, the shift you want can happen faster with a coach. Joyce Shafer ( – You Are More! Empowerment Coach and author of Reinvent Yourself—coaching to meet your desired outcomes. Learn about the buddy-coaching discount, energy expansion e-books, and read her most recent newsletter—all designed to enrich your life experience at